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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Here are some ideas on prayer that came up during the program today:
1. Journal and list people who come to mind.
2. Write out her prayers. This has changed her prayer life.
3. LISTEN. (5 minutes of silence!)
4. 5 fingers. (See below)
5. What you do with your hands, pray for a missionary.
6. Prayer notebooks, with sections for different requests.
7. Monday-govt, police, Tuesday-work, families, Wed.-church family, Thursday-friends, Friday-family, Saturday-pastors, missionaries, Sunday-me.
8. Monthly calendar with families to pray for.

Hi Chris,

I just love your program and have contacted you often. I homeschool and this is an email that I got from my mom and shared it with my kids during one bible time. My eldest son, 16, was just reading over my shoulder and said he loves using this and it even helped him keep his focus while he was in bed last night. Love In Christ, Venera Beebe

This is so neat. I had never heard this before. This is beautiful - and it is surely worth making the 5 finger prayer a part of our lives.

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you.. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a 'sweet duty.'

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger - the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, 'The least shall be the greatest among you.' Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.
Chip Ingram really encouraged us yesterday on Chris Fabry Live with some thoughts about the passage we’re studying. If you didn’t hear his comments, go to chrisfabrylive.org and click on Past Programs.

While you’re there, take a listen to Hour 1 and what Bill Watson had to say about the name of Jesus.

In fact, let’s consider that last portion of the passage. Here’s what it says:

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

What does the name of Jesus do to you? Have you become complacent about it or does the person of Christ move you? Knowing that on some day in the future, everyone alive and everyone who ever walked on the planet, and every entity ever created will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord changes the game. We’re on the winning side.

But I’ll be honest, most of the time I feel defeated. Most of the time I wonder if there’s really a purpose to what I’m doing. It feels like I’m flailing at life and the mountains overwhelm me.

All the more reason to fix our eyes on Jesus. If you didn’t hear Bill’s devotion in Hour 1, listen. It’s only about 6 minutes in length, but it really helped us focus on the meat of this passage.

How does the name of Jesus, the power of Jesus, the victory of Jesus, or the exaltation of Jesus make a difference in your life today?
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A quotation has been running around in my head for the past few days. This may be a good time to share it with you. Anne Morrow Lindbergh lost her son when he was kidnapped and died. I don’t know much about her spiritual journey, but what she says here hits home with me.

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”

There’s a lot in there to unpack, but I think what she’s getting at is our search amidst the suffering. We can either view life fatalistically, as if we’re just pawns on the stage, or that we’re part of the play and our actions mean something. To learn from suffering, we must be actively involved in LIFE.

In the passage we’ve been studying the past 29 days, Philippians 2:1-11, I haven’t thought much about the vulnerability of Jesus. I don’t think of God as vulnerable. I think of him as omnipotent. Unable to be defeated. Yet, what Jesus did for us was divine vulnerability. He came to earth, gave a gift we didn’t deserve, and then let us make the choice whether we would spurn that gift or receive it.

God’s love and mercy were poured out for you and me. Christ humbled himself and suffered for us. But we have to engage our will in order to enter into that truth. And when we do, we become vulnerable. We fellowship in his sufferings. We identify with him and all he did for us.

Read the passage again today and ask God to make you vulnerable to his love, vulnerable to the suffering of others, and ask him to point you in the direction of loving others the way Jesus has loved you.

Prayer:

O Lord, I don’t want to be vulnerable. It hurts. I don’t want to suffer. It hurts. I don’t want to give love to those who spurn it. But you gave me an example. You died in my place. You gave yourself for people who don’t respond to you. Give me that kind of love for the people in my life today and help me share in the suffering vulnerability of Jesus. In his name, Amen.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
If you didn't hear the interview with Pete Greig on Monday, listen to what God is doing through the 24/7 prayer movement. God seems to be moving, particularly through younger people and prayer, but God doesn't care how old you are.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name...

The humiliation of Jesus, his condescension, his submission to the will of God satisfied all of the law's demands. He paid the ultimate price and gave himself that you and I might come back into a relationship with God.

Therefore, the humility and service of Jesus was rewarded by God. When Jesus was baptized, God spoke and said that he was well-pleased with Jesus. By raising him from the dead, he put actions to those words.

Jesus is exalted to the highest place. What does that mean to you if you are "in Christ"?

Jesus has the name that is above all names. What does that mean to you as a follower of Jesus?

Jesus knows you. He knows your name. He knows everything you've ever done. In one sense, that makes me afraid. In another, I'm comforted. He came to deliver me from all the things I've ever done. His name brings freedom. It brings life.

Praise God for Jesus, the name above all names, today. Write down one attribute of Jesus that you appreciate and thank him today.
Monday, September 27, 2010
I want to thank you for praying for our family. We feel it and appreciate it. I may be saying more about it on the program today. If you don’t get Hour 2 on your station, tune in for the live broadcast online or listen later to the stream or podcast.

Brandon and Colin were baptized this weekend in a horse trough at the front of church. We worship at a “Cowboy Church,” a gathering that goes to cowboys and their families and meets outside. It’s a really neat group of believers who don’t mind if we’re not cowboys or are chemically sensitive.

Watching this take place, seeing Colin and Brandon and two others be baptized, brought back the truth of the passage we’ve been studying. Jesus left heaven’s comfort and security and the fellowship he had there and came to this earth for little boys like Colin and Brandon. He didn’t grasp and hang onto heaven, instead, he brought heaven to earth and offered us an opportunity to know him and serve him by serving others.

His service to us allowed us open access to God’s love and mercy. When we’re going through tough struggles, when we don’t know where to turn next, when finances run out, when friends turn their back, He is always there.

As you read Philippians 2:1-11 again today, contemplate the length and breadth and depth of God’s love for you. Thank him for what he has done and is doing, even through the trial you are facing. Everyone is facing something. And God cares for you, friend. He showed that by giving of himself and loving us with all of his being.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
On this Sunday, I want to thank you for living out the Philippians 2 passage for my family and me. Many of you prayed and buoyed us with those prayers. I want to include three messages from Facebook that I received. This is truly God's people thinking more of others than themselves:

Marty wrote:
"Lord Jesus, enable my brother to endure and lead his family well through this time. Give them wisdom, clear decision paths that will give them confidence and comfort. This new issue will introduce the Fabry family to a whole new set of people. Give them stamina to endure and faithfulness to proclaim Your glory and gospel. Help those who meet them along this path to marvel at the depth of their faith and the greatness of their God. Amen"

Michelle wrote:
"Lord God, we come to you in the only name we know that can totally eradicate this situation in the lives of your servants. Our prayer is that if it takes supernatural awareness, supernatural understanding and a supernatural event that you would provide for this family deliverance from this annoyance. Lord in the meantime I pray for supernatural grace to abide with them while they deal with the matter. This prayer is in the Name of Jesus our Restorer."

Rebecca wrote:
"Oh Chris, I will pray for you all. I can't even imagine! I listen to Wretched radio, and Todd Friel says that sometimes we think the good at the end is what God is doing... When in fact the difficult time is the good, that he is working it & putting us through it & that that is the good. He says it much more eloquently than I can. When I start to worry about my own situation (not mold related) I sometimes have to say to myself, this is the good because it is from God. God bless you & I will pray!!"

Thanks to everyone who prayed and thanks for the continued prayer. God bless you today!
cf
Saturday, September 25, 2010
There are some days that defy description. Friday was one of those days for our family. We’ve been going through another mold battle. I won’t go into detail, but this one is serious. It’s more than a scare.

That this would happen now is unbelievable to me because it feels like warfare. And the enemy would like nothing better than to get us to run or get us to back down from what we’re doing.

I believe people are gaining freedom. I think people are leaning on God like never before. I know I am. Some of the projects I’ve worked on and am working on seem to me like things God wants to use in others’ lives.

Instead of backing down, we are going full speed ahead and we would appreciate your prayers. God is bigger than mold. God is bigger than the enemy who wants to thwart us. And God can answer our prayers. If you think of our family this weekend, we would appreciate your intercession. If we ever needed it in the last two years, it’s now. Thank you.

Today, I want to continue with an email from a friend of mine, Robert Sutherland. Here is what he wrote me recently about this 40 days of prayer. I pray his words will bless you today.

* * * * * * * *

Hi. Hope you are well.

God has been SO much like God to me the past few days.

I love him.

I had a bad week. My boss told me that I didn’t have the three-day weekend off, even though that was the deal. For the first time in years, I actually made plans to get away for a couple of days.

But, it didn’t take long to change my plans and change my attitude. I am thankful for my job, even when it’s inconvenient.

A couple of days later, I had to deal with deep-rooted unforgiveness I have toward another person. I totally failed. Expressed ungodly sentiments and – sorry – didn’t really care. Bitterness does that.

A Christian friend sent me a note and dropped a Bible bomb on me for what I said. No, “Hi, how are you?” or “Having a bad day?” Just a Bible verse to tell me I had been found guilty of shooting my mouth off and a copy of the Scripture verse to prove it was a sin.

I was wrong. A friend corrected me. The way s/he believed s/he should correct me. But it was so unlike God. In my humble opinion.

I say that because I have learned one thing about God in the past 35 years. It’s a biggie. Ready?

God is nice. So few people get that.

I sinned. Didn’t repent or confess it. Not sure I have even today. Did God whack me around until I realized that He loves me? Don’t laugh. That’s how we pray for God to straighten sinners out, isn’t it?

“Dear God,
My kid is on the wrong path. Please crush him/her and make him/her miserable until s/he realizes how much you love him/her.
Thanks.”

Know what God did for me the day I screwed up? He paid my mortgage from the most unexpected source ever: an unsaved friend. I helped my friend get a contract for his business. He gave me a $500 “finder’s fee,” totally out of the blue. Enough to pay my house payment. Told him I was just being a friend and that he didn’t owe me anything, but he absolutely insisted.

Amazing.

When I got back to the house, I looked at the check and I dropped to my knees – right there, all alone in my kitchen. I just could not believe how gracious God was being to me through my friend. But unbelief is the root of so many of my issues with God.

I didn’t tell you, but I’ve been doing battle with an insurance company that did me wrong. I paid a payment on time and had abundant proof they cashed my check … but this giant insurance conglomerate canceled the policy anyway. When I called to object, I just got the run-around. Their error was going to cost me thousands of dollars.

To make a long story short, I got a letter from the insurance company about an hour ago. Before I opened it, I prayed.

I confessed that I had no one to fight for me but God. The 28 pages of documentation I sent Goliath (and the copy delivered to my state’s insurance commissioner) presented my case, but I knew God was my only true hope. As the Proverb says, “The horse is prepared for battle, but victory belongs to the Lord.”

I opened the letter. Goliath apologized for the mistake and reinstated the policy.

Amazing.

God gave me victory. And I’m grateful. Told Him so in prayer.

So, that’s where I am today. A sinner … and a recipient of grace that far exceeds what I deserve. As is the case with all grace, I suppose.

As I pray now, I am almost silent before Him. Without a doubt, I am loved. Even when I don’t deserve it.

And I know … even though I am a man of unclean lips … there is a God who will provide for me … and who cares about me. He will forgive my sins … deliver me from evil … and prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

May I say something to your listeners and readers, please?

You cannot earn the love of God. Jesus did that for us and “it is finished.” Don’t give up on God, even if you think He’s given up on you. Make Psalm 23 your prayer. Or Psalm 34. Read it to God. Pour out your heart to Him.

And let Chris know how God works things out for you, OK?
Not *if* God works them out. WHEN God works them out.

Blessings to you … dear one, loved of God.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I don’t like hunting for cars. Especially now that the whole family is chemically sensitive. We can’t have cloth seats because they retain odors and chemicals. Leather is expensive, but it works. It's not as porous. Most cars I find have residue of smoke or some cleaning agent that burns the eyes, contricts the throat or leaves a weird taste on the tongue.

I am searching for the unreachable car. To reach, the unreachable car...

Imagine how hard it is to find a God you can trust in. One that is the perfect fit for your psyche. Your temperament. A lot of people have found a god in themselves. They don’t believe in a deity—it’s in them. Or they follow a god that tells them how many times to pray each day and what to eat and when not to eat. Or maybe a god that makes them do unimaginable things to please him. That kind of god is available.

I haven’t been able to find God. That’s the honest truth. I would have looked all my life and never would have found him.

Instead, he found me.

Jesus, every bit God as the Father, didn’t stay in heaven, though he had every right. He let go of that position and humbled himself. Made himself a servant. As a man, he fully submitted himself to God’s will and made a way for you and me to be made holy. Perfect in him.

But it cost. A lot. His life. He had to die in order for me to be found.

It says in scripture that before the foundation of the world was created, the Lamb was slain. This was God’s plan. This was his search and rescue mission for you and me. Any one of us can be found because he made the way. He humbled himself, became nothing, became obedient to even the degradation of the cross.

If you’re looking for God, don’t look at the tree where he went to show his love. If you’re looking for God, don’t look at the tomb where his body was placed. If you’re looking for God, he is exalted to the highest place and has the name that is above every name. And he’s calling yours today. He wants you to come to him.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 and respond to him today. Write whatever comes to your mind—thanksgiving, praise, ask forgiveness, repent, or just consider the vast love of a God who won’t be found, because he finds you and me.

Who needs leather seats when you have all of that?
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Brian Kluth was on the program yesterday. We were going to have a conversation about generosity and finances and the economy. It turned into a conversation (two hours) about pain and how God uses it. Brian lost his wife on August 11th to cancer. Not the big “c,” according to Brian.

A caller told us that as she goes to sleep each night, she asks God to “take her.” She doesn’t want to live because of the pain of the past and present. Have you ever been there? Many have.

After the program, I received this email:

Dear Chris,
I was on my way home from work when I heard the caller. My heart went out to hear her pain. I know her pain and have lived it. I lived through abuse of all kinds from my grandparents, my mother, stepfathers and spouses. I ran just like she did from my pain thinking it would not bother me or that I continue to hold a grudge. I never fully realized that I continually kept that pain alive and kept up walls. I became a Christian 11 years ago. I thought that because Jesus saved me that all the past would in a way disappear. My past IS under the blood of Jesus but there was mending in me that He wanted to do. The Lord had to sort through all the horrible pain, insufferable things and mend my heart. I went to counseling with an organization called Freedom Ministries. It is intensive prayer, learning to let go of my high expectations, dealing with abandonment, fear, anything. I praise God that I went through the pain and was able to give it over to Jesus. The most amazing thing, I finally understood how much Jesus loves me. Even all the horrible choices I had made thinking that I had no others options. I can't express it fully but the feeling I get from her is “walls and isolation keep you in chains to the lies.” I know I have more mending. I guess I'm writing because I never realized how much Jesus loved me or how broken my heart really was. Just like her. We live in a mean world and I pray that she finds her way. I wish I could write more and explain better but I just can't put all my emotions into words. Just Lord help her and bless her.

I love that kind of prayer and that kind of realization. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, our pain doesn’t go away. The past is still there. But as we gaze upon Him, and as we focus on what he has made us, what he wants us to do, we’re able to get a better perspective of life. We’re enabled to be free.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 and focus on verse 8.

The ultimate obedient act that Jesus performed was to offer himself, to be obedient to death on a cross.

Jesus died for the events in your past that haunt you.

He died so that you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for them.

Because of the obedience of Jesus, he purchased what you could never purchase on your own.

Have you ever prayed for God to “take you?”

Why do you think he didn’t? He could certainly take any of us as soon as we become believers.

What does God want you to do today in obedience to him?

How can you follow in the footsteps of obedience to Jesus?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
What does it mean to “Fix your eyes on Jesus?” That’s what we’re trying to do in these forty days. We’ve heard from an exotic dancer who listened to the message and said she didn’t want to do that any longer. Yesterday I received this message:

Mr. Fabry,
I became a stripper in Dallas Texas when I was 23. During that period in my life I lost everything and I mean everything. By the time Dallas was done with me I lost everything material, financial, relational, but most importantly I lost me and I thought I lost God. My dignity, integrity, honesty, and purity was gone. I was empty. The last night I was in a strip club working I was drunk. Stumbling around the club half dressed in high heel shoes crying my eyes out; a man, a woman, or a spirit walked by me very fast and I heard, "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?" All of the sudden it was as if someone clapped their hands. I came out of a trance and thought, "What am I doing here?"

There are those moments of clarity, in the midst of the sin—just like the Prodigal Son experienced. “When he came to himself…” That’s what happened to the person in Dallas. That’s what happened to the dancer who phoned us the other day. She came into her right mind. Jesus will help you do that if you ask him, no matter what the situation.

A disease can cloud your mind, too. Here’s another response to the devotion we’ve been doing the past 22 days:

When I was so very ill with lyme disease six years ago, if my eyes were not fixed on Him, looking to Him, thinking on Him or talking to Him, my symptoms would overtake me even to the point of suicide. But as I have gone through the healing process over the years I have gained strength. I know where to turn for comfort and I have learned I can trust wholly on Jesus, secure in His love and grace to get me through anything. I know that every day until I die or until His return, the only direction I want to place my eyes is on Him, the author and finisher of my faith!

What a great way to express the submission we’ve been looking at in Philippians 2:1-11.

Read the passage once again. Focus on verses 5-8.

Jesus fully leaned on his Father and submitted himself to his Father’s will. He fixed his eyes on God at every turn. If Jesus needed to do that, how much more do you and I need to do that?

God wants to set you free. What is holding you back from fully submitting your life to him today? Is there anything in your life that you feel is making you stumble? Is there anything about your life that you would say, “What am I doing here?”

If so, confess that to God and accept his forgiveness, and get out of there. Flee whatever that is today and fix your gaze on Christ.

Prayer:
Father, take my prodigal heart and turn it toward yourself today. I submit my life, and everything that I have, to your perfect will. Use me as I present my body, my mind, my soul, my life to you. I want to be more like Jesus. Show me those areas, shine your light on the places I need to see, and help me submit them to you today. For Christ’s glory and for your Kingdom, Amen.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
God can set us free. The truth sets us free.

When Jesus stood in front of the synagogue one day, he read these words from Isaiah:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed…"

I want to tell you what happened on the radio program yesterday. But first, I have to tell you what happened over the weekend. I knew we did not have a guest for hour 2 on Monday and in those situations I try to keep my eyes peeled. The scripture that kept coming was the scene of Peter walking on the water and losing sight of Jesus and then sinking.

I felt strongly we should talk about that and I wrote a brief devotion about it and posted it Monday morning. (You can read it below.) During the program I asked for calls from people who were looking at “wind” instead of Jesus. “What is your wind?” I asked.

Several people called about the obstacles they see in their lives. For one it’s infertility, another had a daughter with tumors, another was facing unemployment/underemployment. With a few minutes left I took an anonymous call. I called her “Ann” for short.

What transpired was something only God could orchestrate. Ann said that she was a single mom and in order to make money goes to a bar and dances. She said she’s tried to quit many times, but when the bills come due, she goes back to the bar. She doesn’t want to, but she does. Off the air she said when she heard us talking about the wind, she knew she had to call. She said she’d been asking God to help her get free from this.

She seemed hopeful when we spoke off the air and when I mentioned there would be people praying for her, she said, “Use my real name.” I was so proud of her. She wants you to pray for her and her daughter, as well as her roommate (who also wants to quit the exotic dancing) and her daughter.

So today, spend a few moments in prayer for Angelica and Priscilla, as well as Azalia and Jasmine. God wants to set the captives free. He longs for us to come to him and ask for things like this.

Today on the program, we’re going to link Angelica with a woman who used to be in the adult entertainment industry. And in the second hour we’re going to ask you, “How were you able to stop doing something you knew you had to quit?”

Whatever is holding you back today, God wants to meet you at that place. He wants to set you free.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I hope you had a good weekend. Here were are, halfway through the 40 days of prayer. We’ve been trying to “fix our eyes on Jesus” during this time, studying Philippians 2:1-11.

If you didn’t read the blog over the weekend, go back and look at the post for Saturday. I think there’s a progression that God provides for us in order to help us humble ourselves and serve him with all our hearts.

I don’t know what you’re facing today. Is it a doctor’s diagnosis? Health problems? A wayward child? Unfulfilled desires? Dreams you feel have crashed and burned?

Don’t focus on the disappointments right now, focus on the person of Christ.

For today’s devotion, I want to take you to Matthew 14. Look at this scene in the life of Christ and his interaction with Peter.

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."


What was Peter’s problem?

What was the answer to Peter’s problem?

What is your problem?

What is the answer to your problem?

Bring those things to God today and gaze at Jesus anew.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
My guest blogger today is my friend, Robert Sutherland. He’s had some ups and downs in life. If you go to my earlier posts from last week and the week before, you’ll see he’s written to me about prayer and how difficult it is.

We’re “fixing our eyes on Jesus” during these 40 days, and no matter what you’re going through, I think that helps anchor us to what is true. We can’t go wrong if we do that.

So as you read Robert’s update, think about what you’ve been reading in Philippians 2 and where you are on the prayer continuum, on the humility continuum, and on the submission scale. Those aren't real measurements, of course. Only God can weigh the heart.

And his heart is turned toward you today.

I hope you have a great Sunday. Here's Robert's entry.

* * * * * * * *

Hi Chris,

Hope you are well.

You’re not going to believe this! – OK. You are going to believe this.

Do you remember when I said my car’s “Check Engine” light came on when I visited my dad for the weekend? Well, I prayed about it.

On Sunday, I had to drive 150 miles through the countryside to get home. The light never came on! Three days later, it still hasn’t come back on.

Thank you, Jesus!! An answered prayer! Already!

It’s not as if I’ve never prayed before. I have. And I used to read and memorize the Bible too. But that was then. This is now.

I won’t play dumb and pretend I don’t know what made me wander off the prayer path. It usually happens when God disappoints us … or when we feel we’ve disappointed God. At least, that’s what happened with me.

May I speak for people like me for a moment, please? “WE” don’t want to talk to God about our bills, our bosses, our kids, our spouses OR Exes, our pains and our sorrows … because if we do … WE are afraid He’s going to tell us to become missionaries to people who live in smelly trash dumps. That happens, you know. It really does.

WE don’t pray for the same reason WE don’t sit down and take the time to write our last will and testament. WE are afraid of what will happen next.

Praying to God about my job is easy. Several times a week I am told that I am going to be fired if I don’t sell more widgets. But, I know there are a bazillion unemployed people who are praying to God … right this very minute … asking for work! I don’t want God to give my job to somebody else because I’m complaining. I want Him to make it right for ME!

But what if God doesn’t save my job … and INSTEAD … asks me to forgive you-know-who? Or be kinder to people – even while driving?

What if I’m asking for mortgage money and God asks me to tithe more? He does that sort of thing, you know. He really does.

My big problem with prayer has nothing to do with me asking God to make my life better. That’s fine. There’s always time to ask for stuff.

I just don’t want God to – how shall I put this? – ask ME to do stuff … like living the way the Bible says to do.

I mean God wants MY LIFE. ALL of it. That’s WAY more important to Him than my job or my bills.

And that’s scary.

It’s not that I don’t have the time to pray. The truth is: I don’t have the time to become a real, live Christian.

And prayer can do that to people. I’ve seen it happen!

I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say “Pray about it.”

Right?

OK. I’ll pray about it.

But if I get sent to that trash dump, you’d better visit me.

Robert
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Read Philippians 2:5-8. For today’s devotion, I want you to follow me in three different versions of the Bible. Here is the text in all three versions.

KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

NAS

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

NIV

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

There is a progression in this passage I want to understand because I think God is showing us an important process. How do I humble myself? How do I have the mind of Christ? Is this something I can do myself? I believe God has to call us to do something as radical as this and give us the strength to do it.

Look at the three versions of this text. Each one of them tries to help us get our minds around what happened when God became a man, but still remained God. Jesus, fully God, part of the triune Godhead, stepped out of heaven’s glory and took on flesh and blood. There was no part of him that wasn’t still God, and no part of him that wasn’t fully human.

The first verb we encounter is one of “being.” I think of Moses and his encounter with God when the Lord said, “I am that I am.” The NAS says he “existed.” KJV says, “being in the form of God.” So the first step is to understand who God is, what his essence or being is.

The second step I see is that he did not hold fast to the station he rightfully owned. It is a volitional process of thinking/saying/acting counter to what he had a right to do. Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” He “thought it not robbery,” which is an interesting way to put it. Jesus was not robbing anyone by being God because he was God.

When you know your station, your place, who you are, and then don’t consider that station something you have to hang onto in order to stay who you are, there is great freedom there. He didn't have to prove to anyone anything about himself. The next step we encounter is Jesus “made himself nothing.” He “emptied himself.” He “made himself of no reputation.”

When you know who you are and have the humility not to have to “grasp” that privilege, you can take the next step of divesting yourself, emptying yourself. He made himself nothing, which led to him taking on the form of a servant, a slave.

Then, and this is the critical point in the process for you and me, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of giving his life for you and me.

I don’t think you can skip any of the steps in that process and truly reach the humility that God wants for us. If we try to manufacture humility, we’ll fail and God won’t be glorified. We have to recognize who we are in Christ, that God is not just our maker, but also our Redeemer, and our Friend. We have access to the holy of holies because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. So we go boldly to the throne of God.

Having all these rights and privileges of now being in the family of God, adopted into his kingdom, we have to make the conscious decision not to “strut our stuff” in front of the world. We must not hold onto whatever prestige and position we might have attained, but empty ourselves and daily, make ourselves servants. You can’t truly humble yourself until you go through those steps. But when you do, you not only are able to humble yourself, but also be obedient to God, submitting yourself to his perfect will.

Then you will be able to truly glorify God. Isn’t that what we long to do as believers?

Where are you in this progression? Ask God to show you how to humble yourself and become obedient in whatever he has for you today.

If we understand this example that Jesus gave us, and if we ask to have this same mind, God will enable us to do that as we constantly think about this, contemplate it, and pray that he will do his perfect work in us.

Find the words to the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. When we “examine closely” the cross, we understand that it's not just the incarnation that changed everything. It wasn't just God coming to earth that saved us. It was his sacrifice for us, his passion and love for us. Meditate on that cross today.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Dr. Rosalie de Rosset joined me on the radio yesterday and talked about baseball. I kidded her because she’s against sports metaphors. But the story she read about baseball cards and the “romance” of baseball is worth hearing if you didn’t. Go to chrisfabrylive.org and click on Past Programs.

One takeaway of the story was that we are to emulate Jesus in the same way a child looks up to a big league player. As a kid, I knew all of Pete Rose’s stats. Every year he had more than 200 hits. That’s why he’s still the all-time hit leader. But later, I learned that Pete didn’t live up to my admiration. He was a fallen hero, as all humans will turn out to be in some way or another.

You don’t have to worry about Jesus betting on a game or having a restraining order put on him. Jesus is perfection. That’s why the phrase, “made himself nothing,” keeps coming back to me.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 and concentrate on the phrase from verse 7: “taking the very nature of a servant…”

In what ways has Jesus served you?

How have you served others in the past week? Have you missed any opportunities?

What does it mean to you to know that God became a man to serve?

Write out a prayer thanking God for the way he demonstrated his love and ask him, if you mean it, to help you have that same nature of a servant.

(It’s a dangerous thing to ask God something and really mean it. He may give you an opportunity to serve someone today—like the one you might have missed in the past week. I encourage you to ask him and see what happens!)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
On Wednesday’s Chris Fabry Live, or CFL to the insiders, I spoke with Dr. Bev Hislop about living out the verses in Philippians 2 that talk about putting others' interests before your own.

She had something to say I felt really hit home and I’ve never really thought about it in this way. Her book is titled “Shepherding Women in Pain.” What is one component of reaching out to hurting women? Listening.

Hearing is a function of the human body. Listening is a function of the heart. You can hear a person but not really listen. You can spit back points in a sermon or a lecture without really knowing what you’re saying. Listening means you take yourself out of the equation, or decide not to “grasp” a really good point you could make.

How many times have I been talking with someone and have jumped on something they said because I had a really good idea, or I saw a movie like that, or I had a dog who died. There are times when I can share those things, but most of the time, if I will listen, I’ll put those things on the back burner, forget about figuring out what I’m going to say, and just listen.

Maybe, in these 40 days of prayer, God wants you to know he’s listening to you. He cares. He’s there in your pain. Maybe God wants to speak to you through these verses we’ve been studying.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 again. Slow down and read. Listen.

I put together an acrostic from the word, listen. This might be of some help, comfort, or encouragement today.

Love well
I must decrease
Speak encouragement
Talk about Jesus
Expect God to show up
Never give up
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I’ve assumed God’s will for me is to make smart investments and good financial decisions. I've tried to buy a house in a neighborhood that is relatively free of crime and has neighbors that mow their lawns and want to keep their cars inside a garage. I’ve assumed God wants to give me a house big enough for all my children who want to still live at home, plus, the wisdom when to make the nest uncomfortable so they can fly.

But I’m beginning to wonder if this is, indeed, the path God has chosen? Falling home prices will certainly rise at some point. The falling stock market will probably do the same. Unemployment has to get better. How do I position myself? Where do I invest? Where do I put my capital resources?

My assumption was always that I would put it in a home that would grow in value. I would give at my church, give to charity, and let the professionals care for the widows and orphans. They do such a better job than I can do. I’ll help friends and family, maybe, but you can’t solve all of the problems in the world. Right?

That’s why Phil 2 is hitting me hard. If Jesus had felt that way about you and me, would he have come? Would he have humbled himself? But, you say, he was God. Yes. BUT. Why does he call us to consider others better than ourselves and look after the interests of others? Why does he set the bar so high for his followers? What is he calling you and me to today other than investing in a house that we can sell for 30% more in ten years?

Isaiah 58 found me. I like this as a corollary to Philippians 2:1-11. It's not spoken to us today, it was given for specific people at a specific place in a specific time. But listen to these words and see if something doesn't ring in your soul:

Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

When Jesus stepped from heaven and became a man, he humbled himself, emptied himself, gave of himself, and clothed himself in humanity. Phil 2 says he did not "grasp" equality with God.

What does this say to you today? If we are to have the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, what will this kind of living do to the world around us and the people who are desperate?
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Yesterday in hour 2 of Chris Fabry Live, we talked about “grasping.” In verse 6 of Philippians 2, we see that Jesus did not “consider equality with God something to be grasped.” If you didn’t hear that program you can go to the website and click on Past Programs. There was a caller named Larry right at the bottom of the hour. His story was heart-wrenching—a modern day Job. But there was such hope in his voice.

Here’s the rest of the story. Larry emailed me last night. Here’s what he said:

This is Larry from Nashville Tn. I was able to share some of my personal testimony on your program Monday the 13th of September. You mentioned that God really wanted me to share that day and here is some of the background information that you may not know. I am working on relating to God as the “lover of my soul” and try to be “naked” before him in my quiet time. I say, “Here I am and right now, I feel this way,” or, “God, this is the way I’m thinking right now, would you show me your path?”

This morning I was telling the Lord that I felt the need to share my testimony but I didn’t know how or where I would do it. “Lord, if you have put this on my heart you will have to open a venue, maybe a small group or something.” So today between stops I heard you speak about holding on and letting go. THIS IS SOMETHING I KNOW ABOUT. I dialed the phone. Two rings and your screener was on the line. After I had shared with her, she asked for my phone number and I gave her what I thought was my number. After I hung up I checked what I had given her and found that I had inverted two numbers (I don’t call myself very often) so I called back and after two rings I got through. Now normally this would never happen, I have tried to call before and couldn’t get through.

When I hung up I was hoping that I presented myself well and articulated my thoughts, however, looking at how this came together it appears to be one of those ”God things” as one of my friends likes to refer to it. Thank you so much for allowing me to share some of my journey. We may never know this side of glory how our Father was able to use a small interaction between two brothers talking over the backyard fence to minister to his body across the US or to that one desperate soul.


Amen, Larry. Thanks for sharing your heart. Again, if you did not hear his thoughts about “grasping,” listen to that section of the broadcast.

As you read Philippians 2:1-11 again, pay particular attention to what Paul asks us to let go of, what NOT to hold onto in our interactions with others. Then look at the pattern that Jesus gave for us. If there was ever anyone who had reason to “grasp,” it was Jesus. Yet he chose a different path.

What are you “grasping” today? Is there something you need to let go of in your life? Is there a way you need to submit to God today that you don’t really want to do? Ask him to help you right now.

God bless you.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Happy Monday to you. I love Mondays. It always feels like the start of something new and fresh. God does that with our lives. The mistakes of the weekend can be wiped away by God's love and forgiveness.

We've been going through Philippians 2:1-11 and we're down to the 5th and 6th verses. I really want to concentrate on the 6th verse. Read the entire passage, then come back to verse 6.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God...

We have a difference of opinion about Jesus with all other religions. They say he was a great prophet, a good teacher, a wonderful human being. But this verse points out the fact that Jesus was God. Not a "god," but God Himself.

Compare the first chapter of the gospel of John with this passage. What similarities do you see in what Paul states here about the person of Christ and what John says about him?

What other passages talk about the divinity of Jesus?

Did Jesus claim to be God? How would you answer that question by using scripture? If someone were to say today, "Jesus was a really good person, but he wasn't God," how would you answer?

Write out your thoughts about Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, and what his sacrifice means to you today.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I hope you're having a good Sunday. And I hope this is a worshipful day for you. Here are some responses to our scripture reading and call for prayer. I'd love to hear from you if you have thoughts.


Dear Chris: As I review the scriptures I realize how much God has been with me through it all. I draw my strength from him and he has never let me down although I feel I have let him down; but I feel by just starting to read and review the bible more I am getting reconnected again. Thank you for what your ministry is doing for people like me that have lost their way a little bit, but want to be found. KaTreena

I'm excited to begin this process with you all today. Today is a great day to "fix our eyes on the Lord" maybe for the first time, or maybe for a fresh look! Thanks for all you do Chris, to encourage us in our walk and to inspire us everyday. Blessings always, love your show and your fam brother!

Thanks for suggesting reading the intro to the text. This is my take away: The immediate circumstances surrounding a believer are not the factors which should determine his attitude toward life. I think of the wittness I could be if I choose to live by this statement. This could completely transform the church. Mary


Thanks for those comments. Now, if you've been journaling, look back at the prayer you wrote early on our journey. Has that prayer changed at all? Have you seen God answer in any way?

Read Philippians 2:1-11 and worship God, thanking him for all he has done for you.

Have a great day.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's September 11th, in case you didn't remember. Just another date on the calendar before 9 years ago. Now it's more than a date. For anyone reliving those awful hours and days because you lost someone, our hearts go out to you.

* * * * * * * *

I received another note from my friend Robert Sutherland about our “40 Days of Prayer” and wanted to share it.

Hi Chris,

One thing is for sure: you have me *thinking* about prayer more. That’s a start. No, I haven’t hit my knees yet, but, I’m sure I will.

Spent the weekend with my dad. We had the dreaded “Dad, you’re getting too old to drive” talk. He’s almost 90 … and takes a ton of medication. It’s time for him to accept more rides from family and friends, or to take a cab when that’s not possible. It’s time for him to give up driving himself.

He doesn’t like that at all. And he’s a bit angry.

(pause)

I’ve been thinking about that passage in Philippians. It’s hard to treat others as more important than ourselves, in a case like this. We’re not trying to be mean. Dad’s a nice guy. He’s kind and lovable.

It’s true that I never could have forgiven Dad for leaving us when I was five … if it weren’t for Christ’s example of forgiving my sins.

But Dad won’t be with us forever. And we need to honor God by how we care for him. Even if it requires “tough love.”

(pause)

This is the precise moment where I always ask others to pray for me.
It’s been a long time since I’ve stopped to pray for things like this myself. It takes less time and effort to pawn that burden off on others. Besides, I believe God will answer the prayers of my godly friends. I’m far less certain about God answering mine.

That’s too bad. I used to pray all the time. And I remember how God answered them. Sometimes, in amazing ways.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll help me get back to that point, Chris.

* * * * * * * *

Well, I don’t know if I’ll have anything to do with it, Robert, but I know God will. And if it happens, the angels will probably throw a Robert party. I’d like to be there.

As you read through Philippians 2:1-11 today, don’t try to pick up anything profound. Just think of Robert’s dad, and Robert, and your other friends who need prayer. Lift them up. And if you think of something you’d like to ask God, go ahead. If you don’t feel like praying today, that’s okay, too. Groan if that's all you can do. God will understand. He loves you so much he came to die for you. He put our need for a Savior ahead of all of the other important things in the universe.

He humbled himself and became obedient. To death. On a cross. For you and me. Amazing, isn't it?
Friday, September 10, 2010
I mentioned on the program yesterday that Tricia was going to see Nate's grandmother last night. Here is the update:

Nate McMillan's grandma, Lizetta Williams, passed away at age 94 just before midnight last night (Thursday). Official time of death was closer to 12:45am Friday. The burial (family and church) will be Saturday morning, and a memorial service on Sunday afternoon. All of Grandma's 6 kids are here, and the last ones to arrive got here just before she passed. She died peacefully, just stopped breathing, and is now fully restored in Heaven. We were able to see her for a few minutes yesterday when we got here.

Thanks for remembering the family in your prayers.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”

How many times as a kid did I hear something about my attitude? “Your attitude needs to change, young man.” “Your attitude really stinks!” “What’s with the attitude?”

How many times as a father have I said something about my children’s attitude? “Don’t give me that attitude.” “If you don’t change your attitude, I’ll change it for you!”

In the first few verses of Philippians 2, Paul sets the bar at an amazing height. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Consider others better than yourselves. This is impossible stuff. I might be able to do it for ten seconds, but to do that consistently?? Come on!

I know. I need to change my attitude.

So how do I do it?

Can I change my own attitude? Isn’t that kind of like crucifying myself? You can’t crucify yourself, you need help.

Exactly. We need help to change our attitude. But we play a part in the process.

Read Philippians 2:1-4 and look for ways you choose to follow the example of Jesus and ways that God works. For example, we can strive for unity but only God can give us the love that unites our hearts. Write your thoughts about this concept.

Now look at verse 5. The description of Jesus follows in verses 6-11, his history, his death, burial, and resurrection, and the effects of his humility and “emptying.” But stay with verse 5 for the rest of your time alone with God.

Ask him now to show you how you need to change your attitude. Is it with your spouse? Your children? Your parents? Your boss or co-workers? Maybe it’s your attitude toward God himself. Pray now and ask God to show you how your attitude needs to change. Then ask God to help you do that.

Father, I want to change. I want to be more like Jesus. I want you to be glorified in my life. But I need your work in my heart in order to do that. Help me make the choices necessary now to change my attitude. Do a work in me that makes me more like your Son. And help me today to see the effects of that in my relationships. And as I see my attitude change to one that is more like your Son, help me to remember this is your work in me so I might praise you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thanks for going on this journey together. It’s a real treat to have you joining in prayer and studying the Bible. I hope this part of your day is something you look forward to.

I was preparing to interview Ravi Zacharias—he’s on in the second hour of Chris Fabry Live today (Thursday). If your station doesn’t take both hours, you can download the podcast or listen to the stream. At one point Ravi quotes the song made famous by George Beverly Shea, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” The poem was written by Mrs. Rhea Miller. You know the thoughts and the melody. Now here’s the question the poem raises: Would you really rather have Jesus than riches? What about worldwide fame? Anything the world could give you, would you really rather have Jesus?

If you’ve ever lost anything dear to you, you know that Jesus makes the difference. When you lose everything and he’s all you have, you know how much you really have in Him. Don’t settle for anything less than Him today. Not counterfeits or things that will give you temporary happiness. Choose Jesus every day.

Now, let’s fix our eyes on Him. Read Philippians 2:1-11 once again.

Verse 4 talks about how we should live in a unified manner with each other in the body of Christ. Each of us should look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.

How did Jesus do that in his earthly ministry? How did he pattern this lifestyle for his disciples?

Has anyone ever acted this way for you? A family member? A friend?
Think back over the past day. Was there an instance when you neglected to think of someone else’s interests and only concentrated on your own? Ask God to help you recognize that next time and change.

Spend a few minutes in meditation about this verse and pray for the people who come to your mind. This is one way you can look not just to your own interests but also to the interests of others.

Now a hard question. What person in your life is it most difficult to love right now? If that is a man and he likes football, ask him if he thinks the Saints or the Vikings are going to win tonight. But seriously, there’s probably someone you love who has wildly different interests—both interest in little things as well as life situations that may be hard for you to identify with. Can you enter into that other person’s world today in some way and show love by taking an interest in their life? Ask God to give you patience, creativity, and an open heart.

Father, my life is cluttered with interests in my own things. My mind is cluttered with my interests. You came to free me from selfish ambition. You came to free me from my sin. From myself. Help me not to be so consumed with all of MY STUFF that I can't get outside of that and listen, really listen to those around me. I open my heart to your leading and ask you to cultivate in me an interest in others. Help me fix my eyes on Jesus and the pattern he gave us with his selfless life.
In His name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Dear Glenn,

This letter has changed a lot. It was meant for you and now I see it was meant for someone else. But first, let me say I like you a lot. I’ve attended your Fathom events in theaters. I love your humor, honesty, and that you get choked up. I love that you’ve struggled in life. We have a lot in common.

In my first try, I challenged you to do what you have called us to do, which is look at the truth. The whole “things may get worse before they get better when we search for truth” was something I wanted you to do. I don’t think you have done that with your faith, but now the emphasis of this letter has changed.

You see, the gathering at the Lincoln Memorial was such a microcosm to me of what’s wrong with me. With the church. The true body of Christ. What happened there has been a huge wake-up call because though what you called for was ambitious, it falls so far short of what God can do in us and through us. God has given us spiritual dynamite. It’s called the gospel. It’s the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, who was God in human flesh, fully human, fully divine, stepped out of heaven, made himself nothing, and became a servant, obedient even to the cross. His blood was given as the perfect sacrifice and it’s the only way you and I have to be made right with God. Because God rose him from the dead, we can have new life. We can live with the power he gives and not rely on our own.

Your rally showed me how much we try to reach for match sticks or firecrackers instead of the dynamite. And I don’t blame you for your efforts. In fact, I applaud your desire to have our nation move toward God and honor and charity, hope, and faith. But no matter how much steam the movement picks up, appeals to the civil religion can never have the power that God really intended.

God took 12 men who were unlearned, like yourself, and he turned the world upside down. It wasn’t through politics. It wasn’t through their persuasiveness. It wasn’t through their star power. And it wasn’t because they loved their country more than others. It wasn’t because they had a show on Fox. They turned the world upside down because of the message they had—that people can find freedom from their sin. They don’t have to be slaves to it anymore. They can have a relationship with God through the mediator, who is Christ Jesus.

I’m not angry at the black robes behind you. I think they believe they’re doing the right thing. But linking arms with and advancing a movement that is like a sparkler compared to an atomic bomb will only succeed in the short term. The gospel changes people for eternity.

If the Apostle Paul were to walk among us today I don’t think he would talk with you first. I think he would look at me, at Christians. He wouldn’t talk about the Constitution. He wouldn’t talk about the faith of George Washington. He would ask this: “What part of the resurrection don’t you get?” That event changed everything. It was a spiritual atomic bomb.

I’ll vote, I’ll work with my neighbors to stand for life, for truth, and feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. We are told to take care of widows and orphans. But Jesus also sent us out to proclaim the news that is powerful enough to change hearts from the inside out. That’s the only kind of change that will last. That is the fundamental change we need in our society, in our world.

So I’ve come to see that my problems with you and your beliefs are not really why I’m so passionate about this subject. I thought it was about the unequal yoking of believers with those who don’t believe. I thought it was your calling for us to return to whatever God we choose that was my biggest problem. But as it turns out, and as it always does, it’s my heart that needs to turn the right way.

John 17:3 says “And this is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Paul says in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…”

I believe God wants a revival in the hearts of his people. And I think he wants to do more than restore honor for the short term. And that’s not going to happen unless His people repent, turn from lesser pursuits, and get right with him.

Thanks Glenn, for making this clearer to me. And I pray you will come to know and understand the truth about who God really is and how great his love was and is for you.

Sincerely,
Chris Fabry
We spent the program yesterday talking about marriage. Bob Moeller joined us and there were some heart-wrenching calls and emails from women (mostly) who were at the end of their proverbial ropes with their husbands. I know it’s not just women who are hurting. Many men have wayward wives as well.

I’d like to go back to verse 3 again and fit this into my relationships again. I think there’s something God wants to bore into our souls about this and I’m not ready to leave it.

This evening I had a disagreement with my wife and it stemmed from my lack of communication. The very thing we were talking about during the program. My wife wanted me to wait for her before going for a walk, or at least communicate where I was going. This happens to me a lot. I like to blame it on the fact that I’m preoccupied. I’m working on a book. My right brain is taking over. I'm busy.

It’s easy to WANT to do everything from pure motives, being considerate of others, and thinking not just about yourself but putting others’ needs before your own. It’s another thing to accomplish that.

Did you have any situations that came up yesterday where you had the opportunity to put Philippians 2:3 into practice?

How did you do? Did you fail, succeed, or was it a mixture?

Read Philippians 2:1-11 again. Focus again on verse three.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

What is the “selfish ambition” you struggle with the most? Some interpret this only as the person who wants to be “up front,” who has to have the lead part in the choir. But there are other ways selfish ambition rears its ugly head. More subtle ways. And they manifest themselves relationally.

What do you think would happen if everyone were able to follow these verses and actually put them into practice? What would happen to marriages? Families? Churches? Classrooms? How would politics be turned upside down?

I’m convinced God wants to transform our relationships, and he’s doing that in small, incremental ways. Give God your ambition today. Tell him what you think would fulfill your life and give you purpose.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Could this be the opposite of “selfish ambition?” Could delighting in God and what he desires (which will provide our ultimate fulfillment) be the antidote to our own selfish ambition? When we delight in Him, this changes our perspective not only on ourselves, but also on all the relationships around us.

Prayer: Ask God to reveal any selfish ambition in your life and supplant that with a delight in Him. Write this prayer out to God.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I hope you had a good weekend and that you’re ready to tackle this short work week. Thanks for joining us for 40 days of prayer—can’t believe we’re on day 7. I hope God is drawing nearer to you each day as you draw near to him.

I love this response to Saturday’s devotion when I included a letter from my friend, Robert:

Hi Chris and Robert,

I am glad you are doing the 40 day prayer, my daughter is with me on this.

I can relate to what Robert says. I also wondered if it really matters that we pray. But I realized this morning that God is “All Mighty” and he can take care of my problems and the world’s problems all by himself. The fact that he wants to include me in caring about the things that he cares about and have me watch him do His work is amazing to me. When He invites us to pray he wants our company because he delights in our union with his Son and our fellowship with the Spirit. As we see God working through our prayers, we get encouraged, we start to care for others and forget ourselves. When this happens, we realize there are others united with Christ doing the same for us.

God bless you.

That's a great perspective on our participation in prayer, and I want to encourage you to continue in prayer for your own life, for your family, your church family, our nation and its leaders, but most of all that God would begin a work in you and me today that will impact eternity. God wants to use you and me to change the world a heart at a time. May he do that work today.

Devotion 7

Read Philippians 2:1-11 slowly. Meditate on it anew today, as if this were the first time you were reading it. This is a letter written nearly 2,000 years ago by the Apostle Paul, but it is living and active today. Let it sink in deeply.

Let’s concentrate today on verse 3, one of the pivotal sentences of this passage. Here are three different translations of the text:

NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

KJV Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

NLT Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

This seems like a tall order for people to follow. It’s not just “Do not commit murder,” or “Do not tell a lie,” we’re being asked, as followers of Christ, to act in a way that...well, is impossible to act. At least that's how it feels to me. How can we accomplish this lofty goal? I don't know about you, but I don't have an off-switch on my selfish button.

How important is our thought process in accomplishing this? In other words, this action begins in the mind and heart and works itself out in our actions. Explain this in your own words.

Now, re-write the verse in a personal way. Insert your own name and write it as a longer prayer to God, asking him to change your heart toward specific people. Ask him for an opportunity today to live this verse out with your family, your friends, your coworkers. See what he will do to point out how much selfish ambition we really have in us.

May God give you fresh eyes and ears to see your own sin. And may he give you hope today that you are becoming that “new creation” he promised to bring forth.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I want to begin today’s devotion with a story about Larissa and Ian. We’re going to feature them in hour 2 of our program this afternoon. Ian and Larissa were good friends. Their friendship turned into romance. Love. Then the unthinkable happened. A terrible accident left Ian brain damaged.

Larissa did not leave him. She was there every step of the way. On the show this afternoon, you can hear our discussion from last March. You’ll also hear the faltering voice of Ian trying to say a few words. He does a great job.

Their wedding was a couple of weeks ago. They are in for a difficult time. But they love each other and are committed to each other through not just the good times, but also the bad. The hard. The difficult.

It’s rare to find that kind of love. It’s the kind of love Jesus showed for you and me. And it’s that kind of love and commitment that we’re called to exhibit toward each other.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 again slowly.

Are you picking up some new things in these verses? Is anything standing out to you that didn’t the first few times through?

In verse 2, Paul says, “then make my joy complete.” What does this mean?
What kind of relationship do you think Paul had with the people of this church? Was it casual or deep?

What three things were they asked to do in order to make his joy complete?
Separate those three things and meditate on them.

How can you do the same thing that Paul asked the Philippians in your life today?

God bless you on this Labor Day. May God give you a great day with your family, at work, or alone.

Here's a picture of the wedding party. Larissa and Ian are seated. May you have this kind of joy in your life today.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I hope you're having a good Sunday. I want to take a moment and thank those of you who have responded to this study of Philippians 2. Here's one message I received last night that really means a lot.

Dear Chris:
As I review the scriptures I realize how much God has been with me through it all. I draw my strength from him and he has never let me down although I feel I have let him down; but I feel by just starting to read and review the Bible more I am getting reconnected again.

Thank you for what your ministry is doing for people like me that have lost their way a little bit, but want to be found.

* * * * * * * *

That's such a wonderful message because Jesus is right there ready and waiting to welcome you back into fellowship. He's calling your name. He knows your hurts and hangups, strengths and weaknesses, and he knows all your faults and failures. With that knowledge, he still loves you. Incredible.

For our devotion today, with thanks, read the passage again, Philippians 2:1-11, and look at the "tenderness and compassion" of Jesus.

Has there been a point in your life when you have felt the tenderness and compassion of Christ? Has it been through other believers that this came to you?

How can you show the tenderness and compassion of Christ to someone else today? Pray and ask God for that opportunity.

Have a wonderful Sunday and as you worship, think about how Jesus has loved you tenderly and compassionately. God bless you.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Devotion #4

I hope your weekend is off to a good start. On this Saturday edition of the devotion, I want you to read a note I received from a friend of mine, after I told him about what we’re doing with these 40 days of prayer. His name is Robert Sutherland. He’s a good friend. Has been for a long time. His thoughts are included below. I’d like you to read them prayerfully.

Before you do, re-read Philippians 2:1-11.

Focus on the clause, “if any fellowship with the Spirit….”

What does “Fellowship with the Spirit” mean?

Have you had experience with fellowship with the spirit? If so, what happened?

Spend some time thanking God for the Holy Spirit and the benefits we have, not only for the person of Christ and his sacrifice for us, but also the gift of the Spirit. Write out your thoughts and your prayer.

* * * * * * * *

NOTE FROM ROBERT

Chris,
I heard you were doing a “40 Days of Prayer” thing on your program. Made me think...

Sorry, buddy. The days are long gone when I’d pray for 40 days in a row. Now it’s more like I pray every 40 days.

You must not have an iPhone. The little sliver of time I used to toss at God in the morning has been consumed by reading e-mail and responding to Instant Messages. Then I check the news to see which countries opened fire on the other overnight. Finally, I listen to traffic reports to hear which of the roads I take to work are hopelessly gridlocked. Who has time to pray?

OK. Maybe I do pray. But, it’s “unofficial.” Like yesterday, when I drove 150 miles to take my dad home from dialysis … and to spend the weekend caring for him. Just as I arrived, my car’s CHECK ENGINE light came on. Not terribly surprising … the car has 313,000 miles on it. So I prayed: “Please God, not the Check Engine light! Not now!” I don’t know about your world, but in mine that counts as prayer.

Then there’s the: “Lord, the mortgage is due again.” As if God needed to be informed that I’m short again. I could probably get credit for all my “God, please let me spend more time with my grandchildren” requests.

Y’know, come to think of it. I HAVE prayed every day for the past 40 days. Especially if you count all the times I’ve prayed about my job.

I hate to tell you this, Chris. I don’t want to discourage you. And I don’t want you to go all GOSPEL on me … but my problems don’t compare to all the stuff God has to deal with these days.

I mean, really. Have you heard about the floods in Pakistan? The nuclear reactor in Iraq? The troubles in Israel? The war in Afghanistan? And … last but not least … the economy?

Sorry, but my measly little whining about cars or work or being lonely or bills just don’t compare.

But I read the Philippians passage anyway. That part about considering others as more important than myself hit me. Again.

My dad is 89. He isn’t terribly concerned with washing his hands all the time. This morning, he kindly and lovingly made me some toast. Dad took the bread out of the bag, put it in the toaster and buttered it when it was done. Then he put it on a plate and served it to me.

Sorry, but I wondered how many zillion germs were dancing around on the toast. So I silently prayed: “Lord, help me be thankful for my dad’s kindness. And please protect me.” Then, I enjoyed my father’s gift. With a peace that passes understanding. And gratitude for my time with my dad.

I think I’m gonna try this 40 Days of Prayer thing with you, Chris. Might as well pray. It’s gotta be better than merely worrying out loud.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Robert
Friday, September 3, 2010
**Something wonderful happened at the end of Chris Fabry Live yesterday. During Hour 1, Kristine called from Phoenix. At least, that's where she lives. We don't broadcast in Phoenix but she drives a truck across the USA. She heard Alex McClellan and me talking about God. She was thirsty for forgiveness and wanted to know how to begin a relationship with him. Afterward, off the air, she prayed with Alex to begin that new life. Angels rejoiced. That's the best thing that's happened to me in a while. I hope that encourages you and will encourage you to pray for this new believer, that she will grow strong in God's word and realize what has just happened in her life.

Yesterday we thought about the encouragement we have from being united with Christ. I was amazed at all the things that came to mind when thinking of this. Christ has promised he will never leave us or forsake us. He has promised that he will keep us by his power, that we can never be snatched from his hand. I have an eternal home because of him. I don’t have to worry about moth, rust, or mold in that place. I hope you are encouraged by this and so many more things about being “in Christ.”

Re-read the entire passage slowly, Philippians 2:1-11.

Now, move to the second part of that first sentence:

“If any comfort from his love…”

Think about the love of Christ for you. Not just the “whole world,” but for you individually. What does the love of Christ mean to you? How has it changed you?

Interesting that the first two things Paul mentions in this passage are the encouragement and comfort we receive from Christ. Why do you think he begins with these?

How did Jesus commend his love? Did he just say it or did he show it?

Look at verses 6-11. This is what Jesus did to show us his love. It was active and moving.

How can you show that same love to someone else today?

Look at the phrase, “If any comfort from his love…” What comfort have you received from the love of Christ? How has that been manifested to you—through your family, friends, from the body of Christ?

What is the comfort you need right now? It’s available through Jesus right now.

Thank God for the comfort of his love and ask him to give you the ability to give away that love to someone else today.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Devotion #2

One of the best things you can do with a passage of scripture is ask or answer questions posed in the text. Today, slowly read Philippians 2:1-11 again. Then return to the first two verses and look at the construction Paul uses. There is clearly some division in the church, something unsettling going on. Look at what Paul says to bring the believers back to fixing their eyes on Jesus:

1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Today, think about the first clause of that verse, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ…”

What encouragement do you have from being united with Christ?

What does being united with Christ mean?

What other passages does this remind you of, if any?

Are there any situations in the life of Christ and his disciples that spring to mind?

Write down an example from your own life where being united with Christ made a difference and how you responded.

Finally, look at the prayer from Day 1. Is there anything you can add to it from today?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Devotion 1.

I don’t know if you’ve ever studied the Bible. To some this will seem elementary. To others it will be a new challenge. I hope the next 40 days will help open your eyes to some wonderful things. Right now, ask God to open your eyes, open your heart, and open your mind to his word. Ask him to help you fix your eyes on Jesus.

1. Your Bible may have an introduction to Philippians. The author. The audience. The reason the letter was written. Read any introductory remarks you have. Then go to Philippians 2 and read verses 1-11.

2. If you have a journal, a piece of paper will do, jot down a prayer taken from this passage. Take the first four verses and rewrite them as a prayer. For example, you might pray, "Burn away the selfishness and me-first attitude that I have about life." Journal that prayer.

3. When you’re finished writing out your prayer, (and don't feel like you have to get everything in there) re-read all 11 verses and meditate on them for a few moments. Then read the prayer again to God from the heart.

4. Record anything else you pick up from a reading of the entire text. General insights. Questions. Things to contemplate. Perhaps there's someone you want to pray for or someone who comes to mind as you read the verses. Don't let that deter you. Write the name down.

Remember to join us on Chris Fabry Live as we talk about these things today. If you want to write some insights down and share, do so here on the blog and you might encourage someone else that way.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Imitate his life and love.

God bless you.